Video Credit: Akshon Esports
Matchup #1: Boston Uprising vs. Philadelphia Fusion
Boston Uprising Summary
Based on previous stages, Boston Uprising is a team that struggles to adapt to meta shifts. This was evident after the Mercy nerfs, which caused Boston to underperform greatly until the very end of Stage 2. And while they really picked things up in Stage 3, crushing all the competition, they faltered and lost in the finals against New York Excelsior. With Stage 4 came yet another patch change that hurt Boston, causing in particular Kwon “Striker” Nam-joo to struggle with the decrease in Tracer play.
So what type of team is Boston Uprising? They’re a team that isn’t consistent and quick to adapt, but have dedicated players who will grind till they reach a solution. But when they do reach the solutions, they’re one of the strongest teams in the league. During their undefeated regular season stage, they were absolutely the best team on Assault (Maps were Temple of Anubis, Volskaya Industries), with Striker, Noh “Gamsu” Young-jin, and Lucas “NotE” Meissner leading the way. If Boston wants to make a deep playoff run, Striker and Stanislav “Mistakes” Danilov are going to have to work towards a reworked Hanzo and more consistent Widowmaker play.
Philadelphia Fusion Summary
Contrary to Boston, Philadelphia Fusion had a rough patch during Stage 3, consistently playing well — inconsistently. This continued on to Stage 4, and while Fusion had their moments, with their DPS line of Lee “Carpe” Jae-hyeok, Josue “Eqo” Corona, Georgii “Shadowburn” Gushcha, Simon “snillo” Ekström playing extremely well at times.
Overall, the team has suffered from both a lack of consistency and weak coordination from map to map, particularly after the last minute additions of Choi “Hotba” Hong-joon and Kim “SADO” Su-min. But the team is definitely overflowing with talent, and though they are inconsistent, if they play well, Boston is going to have a monster of a team to face. To add onto that, with the reworked Hanzo and strength of Widowmaker, Philadelphia’s Eqo and Carpe seem to be the better duo than Boston’s Striker and Mistakes.
All things said, Fusion is the favored team. Though Boston has a stronger map pool now that Volskaya Industries and Junkertown are back, the uncertainty surrounding Boston’s ability to adjust to new patch changes makes Philadelphia the better pick, along with Fusion’s strong DPS line and improvements after the new additions to the team. Flexibility is going to be key in the series, and Philadelphia seems to be the team better suited to adapt.
Video Credit: Akshon Esports
Matchup #2: London Spitfire vs. Los Angeles Gladiators
London Spitfire Summary
London Spitfire is yet another example of a team full of raw talent but plagued by inconsistency. Individually, they have enough firepower to match heavyweight New York Excelsior, but their synergy has simply been lacking since Stage 3. What began initially as a combination of the best players from the GC Busan and Kongdoo rosters had resulted into top-tier players leaving London in Stage 2, with the two most significant names being tank player Baek “Fissure” Chan-hyeong and coach Lee “Bishop” Beom-joon.
When Stage 4 came around, London committed to a change, settling on one set lineup in hopes of improving communication and coordination. That led to mixed performances, but with a few weeks offstage, London has had the time to improve, and the coming match against Los Angeles depends almost completely on if the team has improved their chemistry during their weeks off.
Los Angeles Gladiators
This team’s high seeding is almost entirely the result of Fissure’s phenomenal performance throughout the Stages. He’s been one of the top MVP candidates, leading his team past top teams like Seoul Dynasty to become one of Pacific Division’s most improved teams. But as huge as Fissure has been for his team, the Gladiators’ team have put in incredible effort to get to where they are today, with their improvement as a team being one of the biggest success stories of the Overwatch League Season.
The Gladiators now emerge one of the most flexible teams in the league, and their only major weakness will be the decrease in aggressive tank play that resulted from the Hanzo rework, but with Fissure being such a strong main tank, the team can definitely play around him.
With the Gladiators being so improved and with Fissure dominating the OWL, they are the top dogs against London. But with so much talent on their roster, London definitely has the capability to pull off a huge upset.
These two quarterfinals matches kick off today, with Fusion vs Uprising at 5PM PT / 8PM ET and Spitfire vs Gladiators at 7PM PT / 10PM ET. You can watch through Twitch, ESPN, and Disney XD.